2 East Jerusalem men charged with planning Tel Aviv beach shooting for Hamas

Indictments say pair met in prison, planned to carry out attack; upon their release, they contacted operative, who suggested they kill Jerusalem mayor, police chief or MK

Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv. August, 2017. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90/File)
Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv. August, 2017. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90/File)

Two East Jerusalem residents were charged on Sunday for allegedly planning to carry out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on behalf of the Hamas terror group.

According to the indictments filed at the Jerusalem District Court, 23-year-old Adam Muslemani and 27-year-old Mahmoud Abed al-Latif befriended each other in 2017, while serving time at Nafha Prison in the Negev for security-related offenses.

The two planned to carry out a shooting in Hamas’s name at a beach in Tel Aviv following their release from prison, the charge sheets said. The pair ruled out an attack in Jerusalem, citing the high number of attacks in the capital and its heavy police presence, which made the coastal metropolis a better target.

Following their release in February 2019, Muslemani and Abdel Latif traveled to Istanbul to meet with a Hamas operative, who allegedly suggested they instead target a public figure. The indictment said the Hamas member named former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, ex-police chief Roni Alsheich, and Temple Mount activist and then-Likud MK Yehudah Glick as possible victims.

In 2014, Glick was shot four times by a Palestinian terrorist in a failed assassination attempt in Jerusalem.

Likud MK Yehudah Glick in the Knesset, May 29, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Hamas member later gave them funds to carry out the attack and a pair of pants stitched with hidden messages from Hamas, according to the indictment.

A third East Jerusalem man, 32-year-old Issa Bin Nazem Natsheh, was also indicted for contacting the Hamas operative in Istanbul and for using money he received from him.

Prosecutors requested that all three remain in custody — where they have been since their arrests in March — until the end of legal proceedings against them.

In January, an East Jerusalem man suspected of planning to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barkat last year, on orders from a Syria-based terrorist group, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Muhammad Jamal Rashdeh, a 31-year-old Arab Israeli, was arrested on April 24 and charged on May 27 with terror offenses. In a plea deal, he was convicted of conspiracy to aid the enemy in wartime, preparing to carry out deadly terror attacks, spying, and conspiracy to commit murder.

A Shin Bet spokesperson said Rashdeh received his orders from members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), a Syria-based terrorist group that fights alongside Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

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